Tarkett to acquire the Polish Gamrat Flooring

MOSCOW (MRC) -- French flooring manufacturer Tarkett has signed a non-binding agreement with construction materials specialist Gamrat (Jaslo,Poland) to acquire the Polish company’s subsidiary, Gamrat Flooring, which is also based in Poland, said the producer in its press release.

The planned transaction has Tarkett purchasing 100% of the Jaslo-based specialist in high-performance vinyl flooring, used for applications in the health, education and hospitality sectors. No financial details of the deal have been disclosed.

The next step for both companies involves pursuing negotiations of the planned purchase, which entails handing over both production and distribution activities of the subsidiary’s existing product ranges to the French group.

Should the purchase go through as outlined, Tarkett would add a second manufacturing facility in Poland, where it currently has a site in Orzechowo, in the country’s western Wielkopolskie region.

"This bolt-on acquisition would strengthen Tarkett’s leadership in manufacturing and selling commercial vinyl flooring in central Europe," stated Michel Gianuzzi, company CEO. Tarkett, which also specialises in sports surfaces, is owned primarily by the Deconinck family and private equity funds affiliated with US-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. In 2012, Tarkett posted net sales of EUR 2.3 bn and targets its business in Europe, North America as well as emerging markets. As MRC wrote before, Tarkett SA took the first regulatory step toward selling shares in an initial public offering as 50 percent-owner KKR & Co. (KKR) seeks to exit the French floor maker amid rising valuations of building product companies in October 2013.

Gamrat Flooring, also known as Gamrat Wykladziny, employs 260 individuals and recorded net sales of about EUR 20m in 2012.

Pluss Polymers plans to increase presence in markets such Turkey, Russia and Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pluss Polymers one of the leading manufacturers of specialised polymers and phase-change materials (PCMs), is aiming for manifold increase in overseas business by tapping into new markets and strengthening its existing base across the world, said Plastemart.

This year is planning to increase its presence in markets such Turkey, Russia and Thailand. Pluss Polymers has a strong distributor base in Thailand and is in advanced talks of appointing distributors in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other ASEAN countries. To capture the growing polymer market, the company is increasing its participation in plastic and polymer exhibitions in these regions.

Built on in-house R&D, Pluss claims to be the first company to manufacture grafted polymers and PCMs in India. It has patents on synthetic paper compounds and has currently filed four patents in the PCM space.

Samit Jain, Managing Director, Pluss Polymers, said, "Being a part of the show in Turkey was very rewarding for us. We also saw very positive interest from other nations like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Italy, South Korea and Egypt. With increased involvement in such exhibitions in various markets of the world, we are sure to steadily expand our market base to newer regions, besides fortifying existing associations."

As MRC wrote before, Tata Capital Innovations Fund, VC firm headed by Tata Capital, invested USD2.7 million in specialized polymer maker Pluss Polymers Pvt. Ltd. through equity infusion. The company is in the business of R&D and manufacture of specialized polymers and phase change materials (PCM) and the funds will be utilized to enhance R&D and manufacturing initiatives.

Pluss Polymers is an offshoot of Manas, established to develop and market new technologies and products developed in house. Pluss Polymers was incorporated in 1993 to commercialise the technology for grafted modified polymers and alloys and blends. The company produces super tough nylon alloys under the brand of ADNYL, maleic anhydride grafted polymers, HDPE profiles for the telecom industry, papyrus compound for blown film synthetic paper.

Demand for polyethylene in Kazakhstan rose by 5% in 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Demand for polyethylene (PE) in Kazakhstan continues to grow dynamically. Demand for PE in the local market increased by 5% last year, according to MRC DataScope report.

Thus, demand for PE in Kazakhstan rose by 5% in 2013 to 141,400 tonnes. Local PE pipes producers remain the main driver of stronger demand. The absence of the country's own production predetermines its strong dependence on PE supplies from Russia.

Last year's structure of PE imports by grades looks the following way.

The overall imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) totalled in 2013 about 119,000 tonnes, while this figure was 113,500 tonnes a year earlier. Russian plants produced about 49% of the total HDPE imports. Local pipes producers, which accounted for about 86% of total imports, remain the key consumers.

The low density polyethylene (LDPE) market grew by 4% in 2013 to about 17,700 tonnes. Films producers, which accounted for more than 95% of the total imports, remain the main LDPE consumers. Russian producers are the key LDPE suppliers, their share in the total imports was about 94%.

The linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) market rose by 8% in 2013 and totalled about 4,700 tonnes. Producers from Asia and Uzbekistan, which accounted for more than 95% of total imports, remain the key PE suppliers to the republic.

As reported earlier, Kazakhstan intends to launch a new petrochemical complex in Atyrau region in 2015. The new chemical complex will be build in two phases. The first phase presupposes a commission of polypropylene production with the capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year. The second phase includes the construction of a PE plant with the annual capacity of 800,000 tonnes (starting from in 2016). Investments in the project ammount to about USD4.15 billion.

Solvay to raise US soda ash capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay plans to increase its annual production capacity of natural soda ash at its Green River plant in Wyoming by 150,000 metric tons as of early next year, to meet growing demand of its U.S. export markets, said Fibre2fashion.

"This capacity expansion is an important step in Solvay's three-year action plan to reinforce its global leadership in soda ash by addressing different regional market dynamics. In line with the plan, announced last June, the Group is gradually expanding its U.S. production capacity by about 12 percent," said Christophe Clemente, President of Solvay's Soda Ash & Derivatives global business unit.

Construction works have already begun to expand production capacity at Solvay's Green River trona mine from more than 2 million metric tons a year currently. Green River's best-in-class industrial mining assets produce natural soda, used in glass manufacturing, from the trona mineral. Green River is Solvay's largest U.S. production site, with more than 400 employees.

Solvay Soda Ash and Derivatives is a world leader in its sector, with soda ash serving the glass, detergent and chemical markets and with sodium bicarbonate and trona serving the food, animal feed, flue gas cleaning and healthcare markets. The unit has 12 industrial sites worldwide, more than 4,000 employees and serves 90 countries.

As MRC informed previously, in October 2013, Solvay Specialty Polymers signed an agreement with Aonix Materials for acquisition of a minority stake in the company for jointly development and production of thermoplastic composites.

Solvay Specialty Polymers manufactures over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers - fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds - for use in aerospace, alternative energy, automotive, healthcare, membranes, oil and gas, packaging, plumbing, semiconductors, wire and cable, and other industries.

BASF to increase prices for acrylic and styrene butadiene based polymers in North America

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF will increase prices for all Acronal acrylic and styrene acrylic polymers by USD0.05 to USD0.07 per wet pound in North America, effective February 17, 2014 or as contracts allow, said Webwire.

BASF will also increase prices for all Butofan medium solids styrene-butadiene latex products and for Styrofan and Styronal styrene-butadiene latex products by USD0.05 per wet pound in North America. These increases affect all sales in the construction, fiberbonding, and related industries. The price increases are necessitated by recent increases of key raw materials.

The Dispersions & Pigments Division in North America offers a comprehensive portfolio of resins, binders, latex, pigments and effect pigments, colorants, and systems to meet specific application needs for the coatings, construction, and printing and packaging markets. Our innovative products also help manufacturers in the adhesives, nonwovens and fiber bonding industries meet functional and performance demands. The addition of key product areas such as formulation additives, rheology modifiers, light stabilizers, photoinitiators, and antioxidants significantly enhances the existing BASF product portfolio for these markets.

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 16,600 employees in North America, and had sales of USD18.5 billion in 2012.

As MRC wrote before, BASF and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) has broken ground on the construction of its world-scale isononanol (INA) plant in Maoming Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, Maoming, China. At start-up in 2015, the plant, which is the first of its kind in China, will serve the increasing market demand for next-generation plasticizers. A newly-formed 50-50 joint venture company has been created, BASF MPCC Company Limited.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of EUR72.1 billion in 2012 and more than 110,000 employees as of the end of the year.